Friday, December 20, 2013

A taxmas carol

We nick ye merry gentlemen and confiscate your sleigh
For using it to bootleg booze and ciggies from Calais
To you we're wise, you've dodged excise,
We've tailed you all the way.
You're go-o- ing to pris-i-on old boy!
Oh what a joy!
You're go-o-ing to Wormwood Scrubs old boy!

Written by Chris Williams of Baker Tilly and first published in Taxation magazine 20 December 2007

Friday, December 13, 2013

You know you've been talking about work too much when....

The accountant had just read the story of Cinderella to his four-year-old daughter for the first time.

The little girl was fascinated by the story, especially the part where the pumpkin turns into a golden coach.

Suddenly she piped up, "Daddy, when the pumpkin turned into a coach, would that be classed as income or a capital gain?"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

12 days of Christmas at Greenstones Accountants



With many thanks to Simon Chaplin (far left, back row) for sending this over to me and a merry Christmas to all at Greenstones (Proactive accountants in Peterborough)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Cassons Christmas song - Holding out for an Accountant hero

This is a great video from accountancy firm Cassons with specially adapted lyrics and, one presumes, featuring staff and partners in a variety of roles and guises.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Newton's law of accounting

1. For every accountant, there is equal and opposite accountant.
2. Both of them are wrong.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Stranger than Fiction

This one's not a joke but it still qualifies for inclusion on this blog: - A film about a tax auditor starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. It is called Stranger than fiction!

In the film Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a tax auditor who lives an excruciatingly well-planned life. He wakes one day to hear a woman's voice narrating his life and, in one disturbing scene, predicting his death. Crick sets out to find out whether he's mad but ends up on a trail that leads him to writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) - who, as chance would have it, is writing a book in narrative style about the life of Harold Crick, a tax auditor who lives an excruciatingly well-planned life. With his life in her hands, so to speak, their relationship takes a peculiar twist when Harold learns Eiffel's novel is not to have a happy ending.

In an earlier post I listed a number of other films that featured accountants as main characters. Have a guess as to how many are on the list before you check back to see. Please add any others of which you are aware by way of comments. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tax is for life, not just for Christmas

I do enjoy the ramblings of tax sage Murphy Richards who blogs for the Justice For Taxes Network.

Surprisingly I have not seen fit to reference any of his pieces here before. But this extract from a recent post about an upcoming lecture seems worth sharing:
"The theme of my lecture is that, rather like a dog, people commonly associate Christmas with taxation. It is probably because Christmas is a time for giving rather than receiving. Which is something that The State loves to hear from its citizens. 
But my deliberately provocative point is that we should also think about taxation the rest of the year too. 
As with a dog, being responsible for taxation requires year-long care. It involves administering worming tablets, vaccinations, sticking a microchip in the neck and carrying plastic bags in your pocket at all times. It means going out in the cold for long walks in the pouring rain, sometimes shouting its name, giving up and finding it waiting on the doorstep for you wagging its tail. 
Sometimes taxation will steal your roast dinner from the kitchen work surface whilst your back is turned and you will have to have a cup-a-soup instead.  
The only difference I can think of is that we shouldn’t have taxation put down when it becomes too burdensome to look after. And we shouldn’t leave it in kennels in the UK when we go abroad. You should get a pet passport for your UK tax liability and take it with you wherever you go. 
It is another one of my powerful metaphors that makes the point readily understandable and accessible to all."

Monday, November 25, 2013

The tax return limerick

Why does tax return time cause such stress?
Wretched forms to fill out—it’s a mess!
All confused, you say, “Heck!”
Then you write out a cheque
For what’s due or, at least, your best guess.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

You may be an accountant if...


  • Your idea of trashing your hotel room is refusing to fill out the guest comment card; 
  • You refer to your child as your 'entitlement to tax credits'; 
  • You deduct Exlax as "Moving Expenses.
  • At the movie "Indecent Proposal" you did a NPV calculation. 
  • You decide to change your name to a symbol and you choose the double underline 
  • If you have no idea that "GAP" is also a clothing store. 
 Any more?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

You know you need a new accountant when....

Your Accountant begins the initial interview with "When I was in prison..."

After completing your tax return showing a balance due of £3,000, your Accountant asks for it in cash.

You see Your Accountant on TV. On Crimewatch

Your Accountant thinks "amortizstion" is Italian for "making love".

Every time you visit Your Accountant in his office, he's smoking a joint.

Your Accountant tells you "You probably won't go to jail for this, but..."

Your Accountant is also a Lawyer, and he's representing your wife in the divorce proceedings.

Your Accountant tells you he hasn't filed his own tax return in years

Your Accountant seems to have a cold all year long....and powder residue on his desk

Your Accountant insists that children are legal tender

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why famous people didn't want to be accountants

Three related quotes I came across recently:

The first is attributed to Sir Trevor Holdsworth, then Chairman of National Power and a former chairman of GKN plc. Apparently, when he was younger he had hopes of being a musician but bowed to his parents' wishes and became an accountant.
"To be an accountant is a choice of the head, not the heart...to be an accountant is a second choice. It lacks the vocational flavour of the doctor or the cleric, the romance of the armed services...and the born instinct and natural ability of the artist and musician."
Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, worked for a short time in Accountancy. In July 1989 the Mail On Sunday reported him as describing this period of his life as:
"The closest to Hell I've ever been"
And Godfrey Bradman, then Chairman and Joint Chief Executive of Rosehaugh plc was reported to have said to the Independent newspaper on 30 October 1989 that:
"I wake up every morning and thank God that I'm not a Chartered Accountant any longer, but involved with property."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

An Accountant's Lament

When you’re a child of say four or five,
Longing to grow up and be really alive,
You think about what you might do with your life –
“I’ll be a teacher” – “A fireman” – “A wife” –

“I’ll be a doctor” – “And I’ll be a nurse” –
“I’ll be a bad man” – “And I’ll be much worse”.
But tell me, has anyone heard a child say,
“I want to be an accountant one day”?

To sit in an office and struggle with numbers,
To be on the end of a client’s endless grumbles,
They simply don’t see why they MUST pay that VAT –
“My mate down the pub says he doesn’t pay that!”

Ticking and bashing through audits and recs,
Removing the claim for a client’s new specs,
Scrolling through spreadsheets till you’re fit to scream -
A set of correct books?  That’s just in a dream!

To have to keep patience with HMRC
When they bring in new rules that then change endlessly,
When they don’t answer letters and as for the phone –
“Forget it accountants, no, you’re on your own!”

Still, mustn’t complain, I could do a lot worse
(Like trying to write more of this awful verse!)
But I’m sure I’ll never hear my nephews say,
“I want to be an accountant one day”.

With thanks to accountant Emily Coltman, Director of Accounts in English Ltd for this poem which I think reveals rather a lot about her life!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

How do you pay your tax?

At the end of a serious tax investigation, the Inspector of Taxes announced that the taxpayer owed over £10,000.  The Inspector continued: "You know, paying tax is your civic duty and you should be proud to do what's right. I'd like to see you settle your liability with a smile."

To which the recalcitrant taxpayer replied: "Thank God. I thought you'd want money."

Thanks to Mike Thexton for what he describes as this old crusty mild joke.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Angry Accountants website

This popped up on my radar the other day - www.angryaccountants.com
"A PLACE FOR UNHAPPY ACCOUNTANTS AT THE BIG ACCOUNTING FIRMS TO VENT AND SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT THEIR FIRMS ARE DOING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS"
One of the post includes details of accountants who have gone on to do other things including:

  1. Start counting old coins and jewellery; become a Professional Metal Detector 
  2. Former Accountant Finds Success in Quilting -- opens "Home Is Where the Heart Is Quilt & Gift Shop"
  3. Former Accountant Turns Business Into Piece of Cake -- starts "Truly Scrumptious" specialty cake shop
  4. Former Accountant -- Turned Gun-Carrying Special Agent/Criminal Investigator for the IRS -- turned Private Eye

There's also a useful post about moving from a big 4 firm to a smaller one. That is: Going from being a small fish in a big pond to somewhere you can become a big fish in a small pond. There are some sensible tips and a warning:
""But before you jump ponds, be aware of what you are getting into. Talk to people who have done it recently - especially those at the firm you are going to. We know one guy who jumped from big pond to little pond and about drowned in the middle of the first busy season.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Imagining famous films with an accountancy theme

  1. 10 things I hate to accrue (starring Heath “Nominal” Ledger)
  2. Schindler’s Listing – A heartbreaking story about Schindler floating his company on the FTSE. 
  3. Dude! Where’s my FAR? – A comedy about two guys who misplace their Fixed Asset Register. 
  4. The Shawshank Exemption – a film about a wrongly convicted banker who helps guards avoid an audit [Bit ironic if you know what it was really about!]
  5. LIFO Pi - An abstract story about an unaccepted accounting estimate stranded on a boat with a tiger. 
  6. InSSAPtion – A sci-fi blockbuster hit about the implantation of statements of standard accounting practices into one’s subconscious.
  7. Star Wars: Annual Return of the Jedi – Luke Skywalker battles against an evil empire when he discovers they aren’t filing their annual returns with companies house on time.
  8. Accrual intentions – Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a wealthy teenager taking Reese Witherspoon, a na├»ve student, under her wing to teach her the accruals concept. 
  9. Home A-Loan – an incredibly boring film about a child trying to get a mortgage but failing because he’s too young. 
  10. ICAEW Age – a group of animals teach the ACA to a lost child while avoiding sabre toothed tigers.
  11. Minority audit report – In a future where a special audit unit is able to establish whether accounts are true and fair before they start their fieldwork, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future fraud. 
  12. The Signing – An auditor becomes possessed while on an away job in an isolated hotel where an evil and spiritual presence influences the RI, while his audit team sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. 
  13. Final estimation – a group of young auditors try and fail to escape death after miscalculating depreciation charges.
  14. ACA Ventura: PET detective – Jim Carrey stars as a personal tax accountant who goes in search of a dolphin gifted as a potentially exempt transfer for inheritance tax purposes.
  15. Accrual Runnings – a team of Jamaican accountants with absolutely no knowledge of UKGAAP come to the UK and set up as an audit firm. Hilarity ensues.
I have been unable to trace the origin of this wonderful list. Anyone know to whom credit(!) should be given? 

Any more suggestions in a similar vein?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

What clients say and what they mean (1)

"We keep excellent records" = our books are a mess but don't you dare say otherwise, also I would like a discount please.

"I'm looking for a flexible accountant" = I will ring you evenings and weekends and expect an immediate answer. I may even call on Boxing Day. Late.

"My last accountant didn't file the accounts on time and we got fined" =  I don't expect this to happen with you, though I will ignore repeated reminders and only give you the records one week before year end.

"My last accountant was an idiot" = I'm an idiot.

"I'd like to negotiate on your fees" = Although I want to squeeze more out of you, I've watched the Apprentice so I know how to negotiate. Lower the fees but not the service - and don't expect payment on time either.

"My wife studied AAT years ago so she will be doing the bookkeeping" = Don't try it on with me matey boy, I have an expert in the camp, and get ready to be told how to do your own job.

With many thanks to Jason Dormer of Seahorse Accountancy support  for these. Any more?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Using cats as an analogy - which is most realistic?

Four men were bragging about how smart their cats were.

The first man was an Engineer, the second was an Accountant, the third
was a Chemist and the fourth man was a Civil servant.

To show off, the Engineer called his cat, "T-square, do your stuff."

T-square pranced over to the desk, took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.

But the Accountant said his cat could do better.

He called his cat and said, "Spreadsheet, do your stuff."

Spreadsheet went out to the kitchen and returned with a dozen biscuits. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 biscuits. Everyone agreed that was good.

But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said "Measure, do your stuff."

Measure got up, walked to the fridge, took out a litre of milk, got a glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 80 millilitres without spilling a drop into the glass.

Everyone agreed that was pretty good.

Then the three men turned to the Civil Servant and said, "What can your cat do?"

The Civil Servant called his cat and said "Coffee Break, do your stuff."

Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate the biscuits, drank the milk, pooped on the paper, screwed the other three cats, claimed he injured his back while doing so, made a health and safety report and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spare a thought for your accountant

Spare a thought for your accountant
He’s trying to do his best
To earn a decent living
Just like all the rest

Doing all that double entry’s
Not as easy as it looks
It takes years and years of practice
To cook a set of books

But when the debits and the credits
Don’t add up quite as they should
Staring at the door or window
Doesn’t do a lot of good

It’s said two things are sure in life
Death and taxes are the pair
But one more fact is certain
Your accountant’s thinning hair!

The tax rules alter constantly
He struggles to keep pace
Tax, NI and VAT
Etch deep lines in his face

And even when the job is done
The client may not pay
So your accountant’ll keep a’counting

Until retirement day

Written by chartered accountant David Marston in 1998 and passed on to me recently when it turned up out of the blue.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Accountants are not just bean counters, or pea counters. And we can spell!

This was on the Telegraph's website this week:

   photo Screenshot2013-08-14at193806_zps707bd849.pngAt least they only omitted a 'C' in their spelling of Accountant in the headline. I once omitted the 'O'. And why have they used a picture of green garden peas rather than beans?

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Professional skepticism

In June 2007 the Zootopia Theatre Company presented the New York premiere of Professional Skepticism by James Rasheed.

The following description is from the show's press release: "The play centers on four auditors at a Big Five CPA firm in Charleston, South Carolina, and their daily struggle to survive while swimming with sharks. An audit scandal threatens to change these characters into headline-making personalities."

Written before scandals enveloped Enron, Worldcom and Arthur Anderson, the play has apparently assumed new stature in light of these events. Critics applauded the play's sharp, funny dialogue and how it presents quantitative issues with such clarity that even mathematically-challenged audience members can feel as smart as the sharpest pinstripe CPA.

If you want to know more - here's a full review of Professional Skepticism.



The Audit Wheel of Fortune

With all due credit to Liam Higgins Saunders (who is 'Colin') at Accountancy Age's Taking Stock where this cartoon originally appeared.

Monday, August 05, 2013

An #INABAaward goes to Super Accountant Annette Ferguson

I first encountered Annette on twitter. I checked out her website, read some of her blog posts, listened to her podcasts and watched some of her videos. Even before speaking with her I was pretty certain that she deserved this (virtual) award of an INABA.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here +++++;

Annette is another stand out accountant who evidently operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

Annette's practice, Super Accountant, is focused on entrepreneurs and new business owners 'who want to be super successful'. She does very little of the day to day bookkeeping or accounting for her clients. This compliance work is instead undertaken by her staff. Annette's focus is much more on being the main client interface and helping them understand the numbers and how to grow their businesses.

Annette's podcasts and videos are as much for her existing clients as for new ones. Existing clients are able to listen to her advice at a time of their choosing. Annette also 'sees' many of her clients online via skype video chats. She gets a real buzz from helping clients to grow their businesses and this is apparent from her online activity as well as when you speak with her 1-2-1.

The client testimonials on Annette's website are quite compelling.  For example, one of them notes that she is particularly pro-active which is:
 so unusual in a world of ‘same-old, same-old, grey as grey accountants'.
Beyond this, she told me:
Helping clients to grow their business is a lot more interesting than simply churning out their annual accounts.  The compliance work is a necessity of course but clients could go to any old accountant for that. My clients know that I want them to see me as part of their team and to run their ideas past me. They also know that I share everything I learn with my clients. 
I would hate anyone to think that I fitted the stereotype of a boring accountant. I also think my branding helps me to stand out initially, but it's they way I deal with clients that really counts.
If you think you deserve an INABA or you know an accountant who meets the criteria please let me know.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Song of a Lovesick Accountant

How account your loss of interest?
How to analyse your manner strange?
Tell me truly of my errors:
Narrate the reasons for this change. Your company and loving presence
I value over all else on earth.
If some goodwill can now be shown
I venture we’ll see love’s rebirth. Reconciliation swift I now am seeking:
This current impasse leaves me tense.
Do not discount my urgent pleading:
Do not keep me in suspense.

Dennis Flynn


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Over promoted?

A tax manager was driving up the motorway on his way to see a client when his senior partner phoned him and told him that he'd been promoted to senior manager. The tax manager was so shocked he swerved the car.

A few minutes later the senior partner phoned the tax manager again to say he'd been promoted even higher and would be made a tax director. The manager swerved the car again. Then the senior partner told the manager that he was actually being promoted straight to partner. The manager was so shocked he drove off the road and went right into a tree.

The police came and asked him what had happened. He said 
"I careered off the road"


Monday, July 22, 2013

Stamp Duty and playing cards

So there I was looking to research a new talk that involves a reference to playing cards, when I found the following. Why didn't anyone ever tell me this before?

When you look at the central image of a spade on the Ace of Spades why is it often more ornate than that on the other aces?
Apparently this all began in the 17th century under the reign of King James. He passed a law requiring the Ace of Spades to bear an insignia of the printing house as proof of payment of a tax on the local manufacture of cards. This ornamental embossing was also intended to prevent forgery of the revenue stamp. To forge an ace of spades was punishable by hanging, hence it is sometimes still known as the ‘hanging card’. 
Stamp duty was extended to playing cards in 1711 by Queen Anne and lasted until 1960. All decks of playing cards printed and sold in the United Kingdom were liable to tax under the Stamp Act 1765, and the Ace of Spades carried an indication of the name of the printer and the fact that the tax had been paid.
I am astonished that I have only found this out now - more than 30 years after I started to work in tax and more than 40 years after I started performing magic.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"We are weary and unexciting accountants"

I have promised not to disclose who said this but it was a senior partner at a top 50 accountancy firm:
"We at [redacted] are lone folk, ploughing our furrow in a very weary and unexciting way and not that interested in sharing our boring views with those who have a more exciting life leading their businesses through a series of strategies designed to grow the business in a way which seems to us to be not the sort of way we wish to run ours."
To be fair this was in a 'Friday afternoon' email ;-)

Friday, July 12, 2013

EY's branding advisers may not have messed up

From the London Evening Standard:

Bean counters and crotch kids

Sack the branding advisers! Accountancy giant Ernst and Young has given itself a new name meant — according to new chief executive Mark Weinberger — to “demonstrate clearly and boldly who we are”. 
Alas, the chosen moniker, EY, already has an owner: a magazine packed with shirtless, trouser-less and often pant-less young men, licking lollies and clutching their crotches. 
Given that a swift Google search would have alerted the bean-counters to their new namesakes, it doesn’t inspire much faith in their ability to scrutinise company accounts. 
But if it’s embarrassing for Ernst and Young, consider how the owners of the magazine must feel. For what reader will want their Adonis fantasies infiltrated by images of accountants?
Hmmm. I have seen previous references to the same story but this one seemed to deserve a mention on this blog. However, a quick internet search shows, in the results that Google delivers to me anyway, only references to the accountants EY. Also the Wikipedia entry (at the time of writing) makes no ref to the boys mag. And also makes clear that the accountants own the EY.com domain name.

What I haven't done is to go looking for the 'other' site. Does it really exist or was the original story a spoof?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Football and accountancy in one joke

A Sunday League football team is desperate for players. So desperate in fact that one Sunday they are forced to play a chicken. Rather surprisingly the chicken has a brilliant first half. One minute it's clearing off its own line, the next threading the perfect through ball, the next putting in a perfect cross.

At half time all its team-mates are very pleased and everyone runs back onto the pitch for the second half.

On the way the ref starts chatting with the chicken.

"Great first half mate, you must be really fit".

"Thanks", replied the chicken, "I try to keep myself fit but its difficult finding the time so I try to do an hour in the gym each morning before work".

"What do you do then?" asked the ref.

"I'm a chartered accountant" replies the chicken.

At this point the ref immediately brandishes the red card and sends the chicken off. The bemused team-mates gather round the ref and start complaining.

"Sorry lads", says the ref, "I had no choice - Professional fowl".

Friday, July 05, 2013

Newton's Laws of Accounting

1. For every accountant, there is an equal and opposite accountant.
2. Both of them are wrong.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

An #INABA award for Rob Walsh of Clear Vision Accounting

At a recent AVN conference I was blown away by the passion, enthusiasm and 'clear vision' displayed by Rob Walsh when he talked about how he runs his practice: Clear Vision Accountancy in Corsham, Wiltshire.

I knew immediately that Rob deserved this (virtual) award of an INABA. He evidently operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'. INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here +++++;

In 2004 Rob decided he was bored operating as a partner in a traditional regional firm of accountants. He founded Clear Vision as a result of his desire to make a change in his life and in the accountancy profession. As he explained at the conference, "I care to make a bloody difference".

On checking the firm's YouTube channel I remembered that a friend of mine, Robert Craven, had previously enthused about the non-traditional approach operated by Rob Walsh and the team at Clear Vision. Having now met Rob, I can better understand Robert's enthusiasm. The video in which Robert explains his disappointment with previous accountants is well worth watching.

More recently Rob told me that:
“I believe accountants can and should change their customers' lives.  
My team and I believe in questioning how things are traditionally done in the accountancy sector: producing accounts within 20 days of receiving books and records from our clients, providing our clients with a guarantee that they can pay whatever they think we are worth and charging on a fixed-quote basis.  
We practice an 'upside down' approach to accounting, where the salary or level of dividends a business owner requires to maintain the lifestyle they want comes top and the level of profit a business needs to make to serve the owner's lifestyle is at the bottom.
I use my experience to be whatever clients need me to be: business consultant, sounding board, mentor or simply an efficient and proactive accountant.  
My team and I work with business owners across all sectors. We will continue to do so as we believe (and have repeatedly proved) that insights from one sector can and will benefit another. Alongside this, we have developed specific skills in working as accountants for dentists." 
If you think you deserve an INABA or you know an accountant who meets the criteria please let me know.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The dancing accountant (2)

Long time readers may recall that back in March 2010 I included a fun item here showing the dancing accountant perform his audition for the TV show 'So you think you can dance'.

Recently the dancing accountant posted a thank you note on the blog and provided a link to his facebook page where he is described as: Accountant. Dancer. One man flash mob.

It also notes that You can suggest songs for him to dance to and places where he can dance to them. He'll be posting a new video on his YouTube channel each week - make a request and tune in to see if he went with your suggestion!

Here are a couple of the dancing accountant's more recent videos. In the first he 'does Kylie'. The second was recorded at the Apple Store on Regent St in London:





Friday, June 21, 2013

A start up accountant goes networking for the first time

A classic example of how NOT to approach networking


Watch out for the lack of preparation, lack of practice and lack of plan (the 3 Ps of what to do before you go networking). There's a lot more here in this cringeworthy video from 'Kids in the Hall'.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Dullest employee pretending to be an accountant"

I laughed out loud when I saw that Bill Morrow had listed his first job on Linkedin as "Dullest employee pretending to be an accountant" at Virgin.

It seems Bill stuck with it, at Virgin, for 5 years - from 1985-1990.  In 2004 Bill launched and is now CEO of Angel's Den, Europe and Asia's largest Business Angel Investor Network.

Having heard Bill speak to groups of entrepreneurs and having spent a week with him on a group skiing holiday for a week I can confirm he is no longer dull. In fact I doubt he ever was!




Friday, June 14, 2013

“My name is…. And I am a tax adviser” – a shocking confession

The following appeared at the start of a two-page article in Taxation magazine (6 June 2013):

“My name is Sarah Saunders and I am a tax adviser. Clearly, I cannot be proud to admit this shameful fact; if I were appearing on television I would be portrayed in silhouette only and an actor would speak my words.
I was innocent once, but I was lured into dabbling in tax while taking my degree. How could I have known that I was involved in something immoral?
All the people I worked with seemed nice and respectable; they talked about things like “professional ethics”. I had no idea I was being inducted into a conspiracy to defraud the British People.”

Sarah then references the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee’s insinuation that tax advisers are part of “a Machiavellian evil conspiracy.”
Sarah’s article concludes:


“We need to [be able to] say: “I’m a tax adviser and I’m proud”. Perhaps we should organize some marches and wear some suitably messaged T-shirts? Mind you, if anyone asks my profession at the moment, I think I’ll claim to be something more socially acceptable; for example, a traffic warden or a walking billboard”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You know what they say about advertising......


"It's always said that half of one's advertising spend is wasted, but you never know which half. The problem is that my marketing colleagues never budget for both halves!"

Attributed to Chris Hix, former head of management accounting at Lever Brothers by Russell Levinson (thanks Russell).

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The next #INABAaward goes to Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor runs Taylor Accountancy in Potton, Bedfordshire.

This is another (virtual) award of an INABA to an accountant who operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'. INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here +++++; 

Amy first came to my attention on twitter where she tweets as @amyaccountant and currently describes herself as:
"The Tax Efficient Angel helping entrepreneurs save money with friendly, efficient, flexible accountancy services, wherever you are in the UK"
Amy tells me that when she started her practice she focused on the Mums in Business market (Mumpreneurs) but that she finds herself being drawn to a more diverse band of entrepreneurs who choose to work from home.

I was already considering Amy for an INABA simply by reference to her tweeting style which is very different to most accountants. She tweets about the stuff going on in her professional life but rarely tweets anything overtly promotional. She clearly has a sense of humour and a passion to grow her practice.

Amy recently got in touch which prompted me to also check out her website. This echoes her twitter account and contains some lovely genuine photos and an honest summary of her approach to clients:
Because I’m passionate about numbers and saving money, I love my business. This brings out the best in me, and benefits my clients through tax savings and peace of mind. I am incredibly efficient and this is reflected in my working practices and interaction with clients. 
I’ve had a passion for planning and figures since childhood, and have maintained a great fascination for numbers and mathematical conundrums into adulthood. I use the skills and knowledge I gained during my training to become a chartered accountant every day. This, plus my ability to grasp each of my clients’ unique set of business circumstances, helps me help them save money through efficient tax planning. 
Until 2008, I worked for some of the UK’s top accountancy firms in London and the South East. However, my decision to launch my own accountancy business was based on my desire to spend more time with my children and to provide flexible accountancy services to other growing businesses.
On being advised that she had won an INABA award Amy responded:
"I love standing out from the crowd which sometimes leads to people thinking I am somewhat eccentric, but I think that helps for business anyway!!"

What does it take to be a good tax accountant?


Q:  What does it take to be a good tax accountant?
A:  Two things – grey hair and hemorrhoids. 
The grey hair makes you look distinguished and the hemorrhoids make you look concerned.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Chartered Accountant Dance

This item was featured in 'At last the 1948 show' and originally broadcast in 1967/8.
It stars Tim Brooke-Taylor as the dancing Chartered Accountant.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No sleep for the diligent


An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. 
"Doctor, I just can't get to sleep at night."


"Have you tried counting sheep?"

"That's the problem - I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The collective noun for accountants


"An audit of accountants"

"A balance of accountants"

"A sum of accountants"

"A fudge of accountants"

"An account of accountants"

A journal of accountants*

An assessment of accountants*

A return of accountants*

An avoidance of accountants (for the proactive among us!)*

* These last few were suggested by Ian Gillard, Managing Director at R D Owen & Co, Chartered Accountants

Do you have any better ideas?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Can the K-team solve your accounting problems?

"If you have a problem with accounting software, if nobody can help you sort your invoices, and if you get in touch and ask very nicely, then maybe you can hire.... The K-Team"
Ok, so this spoof 'A-Team' 1 minute video is a promo for Kashflow but it's also quite funny - as are the website notes about each of the characters featured.

 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

An accountant gets one over on a lawyer


A lawyer and an accountant are sitting next to each other on a long flight from the US back to London. The lawyer leans over to the accountant and asks if he would like to play a fun game.

The  accountant just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to take a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is really easy and a lot of fun. He explains "I ask you a question and if you don't know the answer you pay me £10".

Again the  accountant politely declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now somewhat agitated, says "OK, if you don't know the answer you pay me £10, and if you ask me a question and I don't know the answer I will pay you £100".

This catches the accountant's complete attention, and as he sees no end to this torment unless he plays,  he reluctantly agrees to the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" 
The  accountant doesn't say a word, reaches into his pocket and pays the lawyer £10.
The lawyer is disappointed but still encourages the  accountant to ask a question. He thinks for a moment and then asks the lawyer: "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?" Having asked the question he turns round and goes back to sleep.

The lawyer looks at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop and searches all his references, he opens his laptop, logs on to the web and tries searching around wikipedia, tries google, yahoo and host of other serch engines but he gets nowhere. Frustrated he sends emails to all his collagues and friends. All at no avail.

After an hour he wakes the accountant and hands him £100. The  accountant  politely takes the £100 and turns away to get back to sleep. The lawyer, more than a little miffed, shakes the  accountant and asks, "Well, so what is the answer? What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?"

Without a word the accountant reaches into his wallet, hands the lawyer £10 and goes back to sleep.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The next #INABAaward goes to Elaine Clark of CheapAccounting.co.uk

This is another (virtual) award of an INABA to an accountant who operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here++++ 

Elaine Clark is a forthright and feisty lady with firm views about many accountancy related topics. She is MD of CheapAccounting.co.uk and I'm sure no one would ever suggest that she was boring. On the contrary she has successfully built up her business and is widely recognised as a trail blazer in the use of social media within Accountancy. Rather than simply follow the herd she has a clear focus and marketing objectives.

Elaine was included on Accountancy Age's 2012 power list and has won the Woman in Finance category of the Network of Aspiring Women Awards. Elaine's articles are regularly published on a plethora of sites including Accountancy Age, Start up Donut, WiRE, Accounting Web, ICAEW and Business Zone.

I admire Elaine for the way she has persisted with her passion and am constantly impressed by her new ideas, initiatives and activities.

In her own words:
Wow, yes, definitely not a boring accountant because running an accountancy practice means that you have to be so much more than an accountant; especially when that practice is in the Cloud. 
Not only do I need to be a marketeer, a sales person, a PR guru, a writer, a prolific tweeter and goodness knows what else but I have to keep up with all that new fangled technology stuff and re-engineer Practice workings to take advantage of it, keeping costs low so that our client fee very competitive. How else can we be called CheapAccounting.co.uk! 
But mainly I guess I am not boring in many people’s eyes because of my reputation on social media. It’s difficult for me to say just how or why that happened but I am often told that I have a certain persona on twitter. Of course I would add that some of the time I have to wear my “thick skinned” coat to fend off the flack from those that do not find me “their cup of tea”, although recently the noise from the naysayers of the past has been dying down. 
I guess I am like Marmite and luckily I love Marmite!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The privilege of being an accountant rather than a lawyer

At a panel debate hosted by Pinsent Masons and The Times on Monday evening I heard two mildy amusing references to accountants. The subject under discussion was Legal Advice Privilege and the recent Prudential case. This confirmed that tax accountants are not tax lawyers.

Tom Adam QC mischievously suggested that:
"as we all know, deep down tax accountants want to be lawyers. After all, we have 'Legally Blonde', 'Ali McBeal' and 'Suits'. And what do accountants have......? 
Big calculators and lots of pens in their top pocket!"
Also on the panel, Mike Truman, editor of Taxation magazine, later got in a retort of his own:
"The big difference between lawyers and accountants, when it comes to the provision of tax advice, is that accountants are expected to get the numbers right as well as the words!" 

The accountant's malaise

What do accountants suffer from that ordinary people don't?

Depreciation.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A boring accountant's awkward sexual adventure

The "funniest canadian sex comedy ever made" features 'a boring accountant' from Winnipeg who sets out to learn the secrets of making love from a Toronto stripper.

Here are a couple of extracts from Jay Stone's review of 'My awkward sexual adventure':
"the accountant is far too unlikely in his halting ineptitude to be taken at all seriously." 
"Jordan is hopeless until he drunkenly falls into the clutches of Julia (Emily Hampshire), a stripper and gourmet cook. Together they strike a deal: he will use his accounting skills to straighten out her messy financial affairs, and she will become his “sex Yoda,” a platonic instructor in all things explicit, nasty, forbidden and kinky."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A fairy story where the devil is in the detail


Once upon a time a shepherd was looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road. Suddenly a brand new Porsche screeched to a halt. The driver, a man dressed in an Armani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, TAG-Heuer wrist-watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie got out and asked the shepherd, "If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?"

The shepherd looked at the young man, then looked at the large flock of grazing sheep and replied, "Okay." 


The young man parked the car, pulled out his smartphone, and called up a NASA Website and let it identify his location via GPS. Then he opened a database and 60 excel tables filled with algorithms and pivot tables. After studying these for a moment he turned to the shepherd and said, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep."

The shepherd was surprised and confirmed, "That's correct, you can have your sheep." 


The young man took an animal and put it in the back of his Porsche. 
The shepherd looked at him and asked, "If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?" The young man answered, "Sure,why not?"

The shepherd looked at him for a moment and then said, "You are an auditor."

The young man was shocked and asked, "How did you know?"

"Very simple," replied the shepherd. "Firstly, you came here without being wanted. Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew, and thirdly, you don't understand anything about my business..."


".....now can I have my dog back?"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Barry Cryer's ode to accounting software

This dates back to the 2007 Software Satisfaction Awards arranged by AccountingWeb.

Barry Cryer OBE was the guest speaker and he had prepared one of his customary very funny odes. This included the immortal lines:
I see before me, chattering, nattering,managers and also a smatteringof accountants and t'is a crying shamethat 99% of them get the other 1% a bad name 
I now feel my S-A-P risingmy IRIS widening, it's not surprisingas these names resoundyou are Infor a penny, Infor a poundyour Kashflow with a "k"rolls on - and may I saybefore I become a fidgeterI salute OLAP-based Excel and Digita
Onward I paddle my rhyming coracledesperately seeking a rhyme for Oracle 
Enough!! my system draws near to a crashtout suite, NetSuite, i must now dashto a close - cease my poetic spreadsheet analysislife is full of enormous fallaciesif you see what I mean - my program, with one "m"is done - my metrical practice, my hopefully funny function, I must stemmy flow, all's done and saidso, with a joyful cry of "XL Cub-ed"the message coming down the wireI greet you, toast you, thank you...Barry Cryer. 
You can read the full thing on AccountingWeb here>>>

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Accountant's love of excel leads to a new video game

We all know that accountants love spreadsheets, but a Canadian Chartered Accountant, Cary Walkin, has taken this passion to a new level. He has created a basic video game using only Excel spreadsheets.

The game, called Arena.XIsm is a turn-based fantasy game in which you, the hero represented by a smiley face, fight various monsters in order to level up and survive.

Mr Walkin said it took about four months to create the game which has about 2,000 possible enemies, eight tough encounters with bosses and lots of different items players can gather to boost their fighting or defensive abilities.

You can download the game from Cary Walkin’s blog. It works on PC versions of Excel, including Excel 2007 and 2013, but not on Macs (shame).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

IRS training video spoofs star trek

I hesitated to link to this here as the spoof is so bad.....




It starts:
"Space: the final frontier
These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y
Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms
To explore strange new regulations
To boldly go where no government employee has gone before."
The six-minute plot that follows is simple: The Enterprise must help the planet “No-tax” that is plagued with money laundering, tax evasion using off-planet accounts and alien identity theft – all due to a “lack of tax leaders.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now admits it was a mistake to spend $60,000 producing the video parodying the 1960s Star Trek television series, along with a second 'Gilligan’s Island' parody. The Star Trek segment was used to open a 2010 training and leadership conference.

Criticised for wasting taxpayers money when the video became public in 2013, the IRS issued a statement that reads:
"The space parody video from 2010 is not reflective of overall IRS video efforts, which provide critical information to taxpayers and cost-effective employee training critical to running the nation's tax system. In addition, the IRS has instituted tough new standards for videos to prevent situations similar to the 2010 video."

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The next recipient of an #INABAaward is Mike Gordon

This is another (virtual) award of an INABA to an accountant who operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here++++ 

Mike Gordon (sometimes known as 'Forensic Freddie') is a CIMA qualified forensic accountant with an all too obvious sense of humour.  It is evident to everyone who knows him and it helps rather than hinders his work.

In his own words:
My Accountancy career was boring … until I discovered Ancillary Relief. The effect was ... life changing.☺ Although sounding like an activity practiced by the oldest profession, I was relieved (excuse the double entendre!) to discover that my CIMA qualification and Irish genes seemed ideally suited to resolving issues of quantum and valuation – when seeking to deal with the equitable division of assets on divorce. 
A career as a forensic accountant beckoned. That life changing event also involved marriage to Penny Raby, divorce lawyer. We started Penny Raby & Co in 1995 in Pershore ... a beautiful Georgian town on the edge of the Cotswolds with good transport links for our local and international clients.   
More recently our Harmony House practice has been developed to deal with all aspects of relationship breakdown but our approach is very constructive and creative which leads to negotiated settlements for most matters, even in really complex cases. 
Our experiences in 18 years together in business and in love ... and a previous life in amateur dramatics have created a series of “hit” business presentations such as 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (around Mediation), 'Help!' (around the McCartney/Mills divorce), and 'Money Money Money .. What’s Yours Worth?' (around Big Money cases). 
Each New Year also sees the rewrite of 'Men Are From Minehead .. Women Are From Weston-super-Mare' (book early to avoid disappointment!) 
So I’ve done forensic .. creative .. dramatic and everenthusiastic. But I’m sure the best is yet to come ..
Mike is also the first nominee for an INABAaward who has supplied appropriate testimonials:
"The description of Mike as an accountant belies something much more - he has an amazing drive, an unmissable personality, and brilliant ideas for inspiring excitement and regeneration, whether that's in business or personal relationships"
Andrew Horder - The Busy Fool

"Mike is without question one of the most impressive people I have met in the last 10 years because of his genuine interest in people, his intellect and his amazing creativity & ability to engage.
Balance, integrity, generosity, discretion & fun are just some of the words I would use to describe Mike. NOT YOUR EVERYDAY ACCOUNTANT!"
Warren Cass - Business Scene
"Mike, or Freddie, seems on first impressions to be something of a networking professional and a magician. But it's more than just a good sales gimmick for his accountancy business - although he's never openly said this, I genuinely believe the only reason Mike is in business is to make people happier"
Steffan Aquarone CEO Droplet
And the last word .. obviously
"Boring Accountancy may have been the passport to his true life’s work .. but it was never going to be a destination"
Penny Raby - The Wife!



Tuesday, March 05, 2013

When the 'Just a Minute' subject was 'Tax'

This is an extract from the transcript of the radio programme broadcast on 9 May 1989.


Nicholas Parsons: Wendy Richard to begin, the subject Wendy, tax. 

WR: There are various forms of tax, carpet, thumb, income and road. The latter I feel is a downright liberty to motorists. Have you seen the state of the highways and byways in London at this time? It's full of pitholes and potholes. It's an absolute disgrace! As for the first one... I've forgotten what I said the first time... 

BUZZ 

NP: Lance Percival challenged. 

LP: Well she forgot what she said, so she paused. 

NP: She did indeed yes Lance. You have 40 seconds to tell us something about tax starting now. 

LP: The other tax not mentioned so far is VAT. And come 1992 I think you will find this will change quite a considerable amount. For instance we are all set at 15 percent in this country at the moment. But in that year I mentioned earlier you will find that things like food are taxed quite... 

BUZZ 

NP: Wendy Richard challenged. 

WR: This is supposed to be an entertaining programme! I mean it's depressing enough that we know about VAT and that. But I mean you know you er... Well can you get challenged for boring? I mean I'm not, I'm not being rude Lance but it was going on a bit! 

NP: Well I think you were being rude but it was still being very entertaining. So we'll give her an extra point because we enjoyed it didn't we. And er we, take it to heart Lance because as she says it is supposed to be an entertainment show, you don't want to put us all in the doldrums. Um, 24 seconds though for you to continue on tax starting now. 

LP: This is actually a very entertaining idea, the idea of VAT on clothes... 

BUZZ 

NP: Richard Murdoch got in there. 

RM: Well he had two ideas. 

NP: Yes and he had two VATs as well. 

WR: A rarity! 

NP: You can't have VAT too often. Right so Richard Murdoch you got in with 21 seconds to tell us something about tax starting now. 

RM: Well up in the north country there was a man who bought a wig. And he was, asked how much it was. And they said "that's 15 pounds with tax". And he said "I don't need tacks, I'm just going to clang it on!" Um, of course that being a north country word... 

WHISTLE 

NP: So Richard Murdoch with his wig kept going until the whistle went in spite of the audience laughing so loudly. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The laughing Taxman - by Ronnie Barker

I found a reference to this song in the delightful Autobiography of The Two Ronnies "And it's goodnight from him..."

Written and sung by Ronnie Barker, it's clever, funny and worth listening to right through to the end. It's only a minute and half long.
Clearly inspired by The Laughing Policeman....

Friday, February 22, 2013

The next recipient of an #INABAaward is Paul Castle


This is another (virtual) award of an INABA to an accountant who operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here++++ 

Paul was nominated by Kapil (Kaps) Kapur of Fingertips Intelligence. Having met Paul a couple of years ago, I would agree he has an unconventional attitude and approach. Once met, never forgotten!

Paul Castle has six staff in his practice 'Castle Heslop'  (Strapline: 'Innovative accountancy') which operates from offices in London and in Biggin Hill.

On learning of his nomination Paul emailed me to say:
"My career path was set early on in my life after visiting a careers advisory officer who identified I did not have the charisma to succeed as an undertaker.  Still I am pleased that unlike a solicitor I know I am boring. 
So I am not sure why I have been considered for this award.  
Perhaps it is because I like people, enjoy getting to understand what makes them tick and most of all I love solving problems.  I am a very positive, pro-active person who believes my work begins after the "numbers" have been done. Most of all I enjoy preventing clients make unnecessary donations to the HMRC. 
My motto "a positive mind may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth it".
I then spoke to Paul to get some more serious insights:
Perhaps it is because I like people, enjoy getting to understand what makes them tick and most of all I love solving problems.  I am a very positive, pro-active person who believes my work begins after the "numbers" have been done. Most of all I enjoy preventing clients make unnecessary donations to the HMRC. 
I think a genuine interest in people and business and a lifelong fascination with entrepreneurship means that I see beyond the numbers.  As an accountant I understand the importance of costs, profits, and return on capital employed, but I also understand that profit is a consequence of the right people doing the right things most of the time.  It is the "people" aspect of business that interests me most and not the numbers.  Why are some people ( the lucky few) so good at making money so effortlessly?  This is the question that interests me most. 
I don't believe people/accountants are boring, but some people struggle to communicate their uniqueness because of their natural reserve, their awkwardness, and their inability to put others at ease.  I am respectful of other people, slow to judge, and keep an open mind and work hard to find a common interest with whoever I am speaking with.  A lack of cynicism and a desire to learn help me to dig deep to identify client problems and find holistic solutions often by introducing others with skills different to my own.    
At my core I like people and love their many different ways of viewing the world.  This is why social media is such a natural place for me to express myself.  Asking questions, engaging prospects in debate, banter, humour is not work for me but a form of play.  I am not afraid to express my opinion and don't worry whether people like me.  I think too many people are held back by their fear of people not liking them. My view is that there will always be people that like you and others that don't.  The most important thing is to be true to yourself.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Accounting Rap video: Debits left, Credits right


 
Great video with some good advice for aspiring accountants. 
Congrats to @colindodds on producing this and thanks to @wilkins_Co for sharing it on twitter recently

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

And the #INABAaward goes to: A singing accountant

I announce the (virtual) award of INABAs to accountants who operate in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here++++ 

Louise Herrington combines an unusual range of skills including that of being Professional Singer, Bookkeeper, Chartered Accountant specialising in systems and processes and a Videographer. Her practice name is 'Performance Accountancy' and she specialises in providing bookkeeping and accounting services to self-employed musicians and singers.

I first came across Louise when I was directed to her promotional video which I featured on this blog last week: Now that's what I call a singing accountant!

Louise tells me:
When people talk about me in a referral basis, I seem to get referred to as an accountant with a fun personality and who is not worried about clambering through trade vans trying to find receipts, clearing clients' filing that had not be done for a few years, and really enjoying the work with them. 
The fact that I am also a professional opera singer means I can relate to the more creative clients. 
No I don’t start singing Wagner at my clients premises – unless they ask me of course.
If you are or know an accountant you want to nominate for an INABA, please check the (very simple) criteria here and then let me know via my website: www.BookMarkLee.co.uk 
If I agree I will then ask them to send me a few words setting out their perspective on how they evidence that they're not boring on a day to day basis, and how this is evident to their clients. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

How to wind up an accountant...

Here's a random selection of contributions received from accountants a few years ago in response to the question:

What do clients say that winds you up?

  • "I just popped everything in this carrier bag here - I knew you could sort it all out for me."
  • "My friend's accountant says....."
  • "I need a mortgage reference - you WILL make the figures look good for me won't you?"
  • "A friend in the pub said that he's certain that...."
  • "My van was broken into and........... all of my receipts were stolen"
  • "My son has been onto the HMRC web site and......."
  • " I've already signed my tax return. Just fill in the details as usual"
  • "If I've made that much money, where's it all gone" Answer: "You've spent it, sunshine"
  • "I've checked my tax return and it's wrong...the profit figure on the accounts isn't the same as the taxable profits figure on the tax return"
  • "It shouldn't be much work" 
  • "You can't have our bank statements we have shredded them. It said on the news that the police wanted everyone to shred their bank statements to avoid ID theft"
  • "How can I have made such much profit when I've no money left in the bank"
  • "My mate in the pub knows someone whose uncle-in-law reckons that I'm being overcharged"
  • "Wow that's a lot less than I'm currently paying my accountant" (at which point you start to ask - why? What have I missed? - or doh!!) 
Any more?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

New non chargeable codes for accountants timesheets



5316 Useless Meeting
5318 Trying to Sound Knowledgeable While in Meeting
5393 Covering for Incompetence of Colleague
5400 Trying to Explain things to new colleague who just doesn't get it
5482 Eating Snack
5490 Updating status on Facebook
5500 Filling Out Timesheet
5501 Inventing Timesheet Entries
5640 Miscellaneous Unproductive Complaining
6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit
6206 Gossiping
6207 Planning a Social Event (eg: holiday, wedding, etc.)
6211 Updating CV
6221 Pretending to Work While Boss Is Watching
6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasising
6350 Playing jokes on the New Guy/Girl
7281 Extended Visit to the Loo (at least 10 minutes)
8100 Reading online blogs
8102 Laughing while reading blogs


9106 Explaining to partner why we cannot bill all of the time on the clock
9107 Explaining to staff why we need to bill more than the time on the clock
9108 Negotiating fee with client before fee note sent out
9109 Writing covering letter/email to justify size of the fee note
9110 Responding to client's questions re the size of the fee note
9111 Preparing a tailored version of the WIP ledger to support the fee note
9112 Negotiating fee with client after fee note sent out


Any more for any more?